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I am not a solution to universities woes— Peter Mutharika

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President Peter Mutharika has said it is wrong for some people in the country to expect him to be involved in the management of public universities as principles of good governance demand that the councils and management teams of each university are responsible for that.

Mutharika, a default Chancellor for all public universities in the country, said he does not expect people with grievances to be going to him as university councils exist for that purpose.

Minister of Education, Science and Technology, Emmanuel Fabiano, also pushed the burden to the university councils a week ago.

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“I know that some people are eager to point fingers at the head of state and Chancellor for every problem that arises in the universities. I am the ultimate authority and I don’t mind.

“But we must remember the principles of good governance. The governance of every univer s i ty is done by the council and its management. We have empowered them by law to govern the universities on behalf of the government. And I do not expect everything to come to me. I expect the council and management to do what is required of them,” Mutharika said.

He then challenged council chairpersons and vice chancellors in the universities to be visibly active in managing the universities, more so in times of crisis.

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Speaking during the first ever Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Luanar) Congregation in Lilongwe, yesterday, Mutharika said part of the reason for the closure in some universities is the country’s resistance to change.

“When I came to lead this country, we promised to do business unusual; we promised to think outside the box. And that is my expectation from every Malawian. We cannot improve the quality of education by financing it the same way we have financed it for the last fifty years,” he said.

The Polytechnic in Blantyre remains closed months after going on recess due to fees hike disagreements between management and students while Mzuzu University is closed due to staff salary hike wrangles.

Mutharika told the graduating cohort to focus on entrepreneurship saying if everyone wants to be employed, there will be nobody to employ the other.

He said life is not about what the degree can do for graduates but what the graduates can do with their degrees.

Luanar Vice Chancellor George Kanyama-Phiri, said in keeping with the spirit of being an entrepreneur university, the university is now involved in various resource mobilisation initiatives aimed at increasing the financial resource base.

“For example, the university has revitalised the Bunda Farm Ltd [Limited] and has opened an outlet in the city of Lilongwe. Others are the business centre and the filling station,” Kanyama-Phiri said.

Luanar, whose Bunda College of Agriculture was under University of Malawi until 2012, came into being as a fully fledged university on July 2012 through an Act of Parliament of 2011 and the students who have graduated are the first to be selected under Luanar.

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